Fonstad expected to be drafted Saturday

Herald File Photo Prince Albert Raiders forward Cole Fonstad controlled the puck during a game at the Art Hauser Centre this past season.
Herald File Photo
Prince Albert Raiders forward Cole Fonstad controlled the puck during a game at the Art Hauser Centre this past season.

This weekend could mark the biggest one in Cole Fonstad’s life up to this point.

The Prince Albert Raiders forward is widely expected to have his name called during the second day of the National Hockey League Entry Draft Saturday in Dallas, Tex.

Numerous draft guides have Fonstad ranked between 62nd and 108th overall among draft-eligible prospects, which would have him pegged to be selected anywhere from late in the second round to the midway stages of the fourth round.

Fonstad, 18, was second in scoring for the Raiders this year with 73 points in 72 games and had five points in seven playoff games.

The Estevan native would then go on to play in five games for Canada at the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Russia.

Raiders forward Kody McDonald and defenceman Brayden Pachal have also been ranked by NHL Central Scouting for this year’s draft as re-entry candidates.

Blueliner Vojtech Budik is also back in the draft pool as the Buffalo Sabres elected not to sign him to an entry-level contract after drafting him the fifth round two seasons ago.

If a player from the Raiders is selected, it will mark the eighth straight year that a member of squad will hear his name called by a NHL team.

That streak started in 2011 when Mark McNeill was the 18th overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The most recent Raiders player to be drafted by a NHL team was goaltender Ian Scott, who was a fourth round pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs last June.

Meanwhile, a former Raiders draft pick was taken in the first round Friday night.

German forward Dominik Bokk, who was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft, was selected by the St. Louis Blues with the 25th overall pick after a 41 point campaign in Sweden with the Vaxjo Lakers Under-20 program.

Gavin Hain, an eighth round pick by the Raiders in the 2015 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, is projected to be selected in the middle of the draft Saturday.

Having played with the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 squad this season, he has committed to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association next year with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

The Buffalo Sabres held the first overall selection Friday and took highly-touted Swedish blueliner Rasmus Dahlin.

Defenceman Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs was the first WHL player selected in the draft with the 17th overall selection by the New Jersey Devils.

The Washington Capitals rounded the evening by taking Red Deer Rebels blueliner Alexander Alexeyev with the 31st pick.